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Alone
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gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Edgar Allan Poe (Expert Editing)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
Date: Oct 30, 2011
Aperture: f/18
ISO: 100
Shutter: 8 sec
Date Uploaded: Nov 3, 2011

11/05/2012: The photo was awarded the Gold medal at the TRIERENBERG SUPER CIRCUIT 2012, in the "Unusual" category.

I like Poe's work a lot, I really do. I particularly admire how his writings are methodically crafted, how the mood and feelings are calculated, how everything is bent in the intention of emphasizing a peculiar effect.

In his poem "Alone", he described how his perception of the world was different from the common view, and how that made him feel lonesome at times. In order to illustrate it, I knew from the beginning that I would have to choose a normal scene, and turn it into something that would represent his own experience of it.

After many hours of research on the Internet, I finally found that tree-lined road, one hour away from home. The weather was relatively poor that day, but I went there and shot it nonetheless. Back at home, I began to bend the trees to create the oppressing atmosphere I had in mind. It worked quite nicely, but there were many holes between the branches, due to the foliage being non dense enough. So I decided to clone leaves everywhere around the picture, in order to completely hide the sky, and create that relative darkness that would suit the mood I wanted to achieve. After a few hours of work, I had the background there, in front of my eyes, and I knew this was going well. I added the tombstones and the bird for some more details, and it was that.

At this stage, I still had no idea about how would Poe interact with the scene. It was quite unusual for me, as I often plan everything from day one, but it just didn't happen there. After reading the poem again and again, it was obvious a cloud would have been great, but how to show one without showing the sky? This is where the pipe idea appeared, and its cloud of smoke shaped as a demon (which finally became a skull, since it was the most convincing shape I managed to create). Of course, I had no pipe, so one was quickly bought, and I disguised myself as Poe the best I could for a studio shooting session. I also shot the smoke that day, using the classical incense sticks method. After that, some more hours of processing, and the scene was almost done.

Almost... because I spent many, I mean many hours on the final step. I tried so many curves, colored filters, saturated and desaturated moods, B&W, greenish, blueish, yellowish atmospheres that I kinda lost myself among all the options. Nothing was really good in my eye. So again, I read the poem a few times. Finally, the "autumn tint of gold" gave me the key, and I went for a darkish approach of such colors. As soon as it was done, it really popped there in front of me, and it became obvious this was the way to go.

I am quite proud of the result I must say, and very happy about all the incredible votes and comments you were kind enough to give it. Thanks a lot. I say it often, but they are really much appreciated.

I would like to finish -of course!- with the poem itself.


Alone

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.
Then- in my childhood, in the dawn
Of a most stormy life- was drawn
From every depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still:
From the torrent, or the fountain,
From the red cliff of the mountain,
From the sun that round me rolled
In its autumn tint of gold,
From the lightning in the sky
As it passed me flying by,
From the thunder and the storm,
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view.

--Edgar Allan Poe


Higher resolution version of the image

Statistics
Place: 2 out of 88
Avg (all users): 8.1603
Avg (commenters): 9.0435
Avg (participants): 7.4667
Avg (non-participants): 8.5233
Views since voting: 7669
Views during voting: 472
Votes: 131
Comments: 64
Favorites: 26 (view)


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AuthorThread
02/24/2013 01:27:31 PM
Amazing image. Such a creative composition.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/17/2011 05:15:38 PM
Originally posted by bspurgeon:

Don't miss the bird. My favorite part of your creation.

Indeed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/16/2011 10:41:51 AM
I just adjusted the colors on my monitor, so now the red is blue. Crisis averted!

Originally posted by wizardry:

I think your going to be a little sick Alan :P

Originally posted by alanfreed:

Another brilliant entry. If this isn't the blue ribbon winner, I'll personally eat all of the rotten pumpkins from the Halloween challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/14/2011 06:43:36 AM
Wonderful work! Congratulations!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/13/2011 08:49:58 PM
Ditto on all the good words said below. Awesome. I'm a big fan!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2011 06:39:17 PM
Congrats on your well deserved score and win. Amazing image loved it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2011 06:30:42 PM
This is without a doubt one of the most amazing images I have ever had the privilege to view. Your creativity is astounding. The post-processing work you did on this image is to say the least incredible. Congratulations on your well deserved ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/12/2011 12:40:44 AM
I wonder where you will end up professionally - creating one of a kind prints for a high end art gallery .. working with famous writers to create the cover that will add thousands to their client list .. creating a cover for a famous band promoting the creativity of their new sound? We will be reading about you for sure. Congratulations.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 11:23:22 PM
gyaban_congrats2.png

I'll spare you the monotony of calling you Brilliant. ;-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 10:59:24 PM
The amount of thought and planning - and discovery you put into this stuff is inspiring. I can only hope that others will appreciate it and aspire to such an attitude. So many people seem to get a decent camera and that is pretty much all the effort they put in - you are the antithesis of that.
So awesome.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 08:19:56 PM
Highest Scoring red on DPC. Brilliant image Christophe.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 05:29:21 PM
Congratulations Christophe. A toss up between this and the winner which I couldn't call. I gave you both 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 03:56:54 PM
oh man, what a bummer to pull an 8+ score and not win a challenge :). Well, congrats anyways, Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 03:18:16 PM
So much to love about this image! Who'd'a thunk that 8.16 would only get you red? Congratulations on a great image. This goes so far beyond the visual aspects, and scrapes its talons across the soul...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 01:30:36 PM
Wow! What a score! And not even the Blue! But... still... WOW, what a Score!

Congrats on the Red and SUCH a cool image, Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 01:23:13 PM
Originally posted by Techo:

Nicely executed. The smoke in shape of the skull is my favorite part. I see a mustache, not by any chance a growing prop for Movember? ;)


Thank you :-) Nope, that one is fake, wouldn't work well for the Movember challenge ;-)
11/11/2011 01:08:42 PM
Nicely executed. The smoke in shape of the skull is my favorite part. I see a mustache, not by any chance a growing prop for Movember? ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:53:07 PM
I think your going to be a little sick Alan :P

Originally posted by alanfreed:

Another brilliant entry. If this isn't the blue ribbon winner, I'll personally eat all of the rotten pumpkins from the Halloween challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:20:18 PM
Congrats, Christophe! Love reading about your thought process.

Message edited by author 2011-11-11 12:24:35.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 11:20:36 AM
Congratulations! Fantastic piece! Deserved the ribbon fully. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 11:04:55 AM
Congratulations. Another one of my 10s.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 10:39:59 AM
I totally thought that Nightpixel's entry was yours, and was even going to comment that you must be doing a lot of traveling lately Paris, Milan... Great work though, this was definitely one of my favorites.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 10:35:55 AM
Truely of a similar mindset I believe. Great image and story of its creation.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 09:10:01 AM
Wow and to think I originally mistook another entry for yours - then I saw this!! Just absolutely mind-blowing work all around and massive congrats on the red!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 08:54:55 AM
Congrats on another super image and result.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 08:37:44 AM
I rarely give 2 10's, much less one. Had no trouble giving this the highest marks possible. What a fab creation.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 06:46:47 AM
Wow! Well deserving of the score it received! Congrats on a new personal best.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 06:28:59 AM
I love reading your comments after the challenge!

What a great image! What an awesome score! What a beautiful piece of work! Massive congrats on the PB and well over 8+! :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 04:30:51 AM
Originally posted by NiallOTuama:

Wow! Impressive christophe! Incredible.
8.no-blue. Has it happened before? I'm not sure.

Superb result as always.

Three times apparently
Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_455658.jpgCopyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_162.jpgCopyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_429294.jpg
Didn't even come first in that category either :-D

Message edited by author 2011-11-11 04:31:09.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 04:07:57 AM
Great image Christophe as usual. Truly a master!

Originally posted by alanfreed:

Another brilliant entry. If this isn't the blue ribbon winner, I'll personally eat all of the rotten pumpkins from the Halloween challenge.

The question is where must we deliver all the pumpkins for Alan to eat?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 01:44:37 AM
Wow! Impressive christophe! Incredible.
8.no-blue. Has it happened before? I'm not sure.

Superb result as always.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:39:22 AM
WOW! An amazing image! 'Grats on the red!

ETA..... the right colored ribbon.

Message edited by author 2011-11-11 00:40:26.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:35:40 AM
Originally posted by Judi:

Will you still talk to me?


Nevermore!
11/11/2011 12:23:48 AM
Don't miss the bird. My favorite part of your creation.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:15:35 AM
I know it hurts but good effort, Christophe! Hey, at least you got a ribbon out of it unlike me, heh!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:14:07 AM
Amazing image...but I am so sorry...I did it again! Will you still talk to me??? LOL!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2011 12:05:50 AM
Amazing, two over 8 in one challenge! WTG! And that's my favorite poem of Poe's, incidentally, by far.

Message edited by author 2011-11-11 00:06:36.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
11/10/2011 09:38:40 PM
Excellent!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2011 06:12:21 PM
Brilliant!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2011 04:08:04 PM
Looks amazing! Great job!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2011 02:46:16 PM
The central image is a bit over the top for Poe's sense of vague dread, but this is beautifully done. i just wish the three elements were a bit more integrated.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/10/2011 01:30:33 PM
This deserves the Blue - I'm holding a very high score myself; but this is a better image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/09/2011 09:55:24 PM
Looks like the cover of a graphic novel.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/08/2011 03:14:30 PM
Another brilliant entry. If this isn't the blue ribbon winner, I'll personally eat all of the rotten pumpkins from the Halloween challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2011 07:18:44 PM
WoW! This is amaaaaazing. I was so compelled by this i logged in just to be able to comment and now I'll have to vote the entire challenge to make sure my 10 counts toward your final score. Early congrats on the blue ribbon. If you dont get the blue I will be shocked. This is inspiring. I've been looking for something to push me back into photography and i think this is it. Thank you so much for creating this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2011 06:14:46 PM
What thought and detail in this. It all works together so well, spectacular shot.

I keep coming back to this, it is such a wonderful work of art and much to explore. I didn't even notice the skull until the fourth or fifth time viewing. This shot has a gyaban feel to it, regardless of who made this it deserves the blue. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2011 10:42:56 AM
Very well done on all levels...10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/07/2011 07:31:38 AM
Absolutely adore the bend in the trees. What a great look and spectacular idea! The grave stones amongst the trees were a great touch!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2011 12:15:38 PM
Like the smoke effect and the trees too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2011 02:40:45 AM
The blackbird is the killing detail
Great job master Christophe !!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2011 01:20:02 AM
Ohhhhhh Christophe, your to damn good, bravo
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2011 06:27:57 PM
Cool. Love the curvy trees, and the smoke skull is well done. Lots of nice little Poe-ish touches in this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2011 12:51:16 PM
Well played, top 2 and very well done, could be a book cover!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/05/2011 02:38:20 AM
Excellent!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 09:55:08 PM
Don't you just LOVE liquify????

Such wonderful details, although the lighting on the face doesn't quite match the lighting of his surroundings - a little too blue for the yellowness of the scene. Fabulous stuff, and a clear ribboner.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 09:32:46 PM
Poe in pastels?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 08:46:16 PM
Nice fantasy scene, well executed.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 07:10:28 PM
Would love to know how you created the ghost in the smoke. Very well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 02:50:24 PM
Brilliant!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 02:10:13 PM
Winner winner chicken dinner... beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 10:31:02 AM
Oh... well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 08:40:37 AM
Now THAT is creative. I like how the trees are distorted, sort of like Munch's The Scream, which fits in here nicely. How on earth did you do that skull? Great work. My fav so far.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 05:58:38 AM
Here's our winner. Nice job! 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/04/2011 12:46:31 AM
Such wonderful composition. Very creative!
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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